The Town of Boydton officially requested at the Monday night School Board meeting that the post office address for the new Mecklenburg County Middle and High school facility be changed from its current Baskerville location to Boydton.
A letter written to the Board stated reasons for the request. First, the facility is located only six miles east of Boydton, the 911 Emergency Center is located in Boydton, the town is located in the center of the county, and the School Board office is located in Boydton. The Town of Boydton will also be providing sewage services for the new school and should the need arise, the Boydton Volunteer Fire Department and Boydton Life Station would be the first to respond to the facility.
School Administration is required to create a Health Plan and Instructional Plan to submit to the state Department of Education at least 15 days prior to the reopening of school for the 2020/2021 year. The Health Plan is still in the works as the state is currently operating under Phase 3 restrictions but could at any time be moved back in to Phase 2. There are some concerns, when looking at the case numbers in the state and county that Virginia will soon be pushed back to Phase 2. With the possibility of change coming soon, the vote was postponed and the Board will take action on the matter at the regular August meeting.
“We will look at modifications [to instructional and health plans] according tot he numbers and we are watching the numbers daily. I sent a video update to parents and the community over the weekend and that was one of the strong points. We’re not only looking at what the Governor might do moving from Phase 3 to Phase 2 but we’re looking at the materials that came in from the Harvard International Studies. As of today we’re still in the yellow, which is in the low risk, but our numbers have increased from 3.7 to right at 9 per 100,000. We are watching that very closely. If we move towards the red we could [possibly] move to totally virtual learning. So we just have to watch this thing all the time.” said Nichols.
Southside Virginia Community College has requested that current 2020/2021 sophomores from both Bluestone and Parkview High Schools that have tested into Governor’s School start attending the Alberta Campus so as not to struggle in the transition to the new Mecklenburg County High School facility in their senior years.
Currently Bluestone Governor School students are attending classes at the Keysville Campus and Park View students attend the Alberta. There is a significantly larger number of students at the Keysville campus therefore the community college is requesting that all students report to the Alberta campus in the 2020/2021 school year.
Board Members Glenn Edwards and Gavin Honeycutt agreed that the travel time for Bluestone students to Alberta would be cause for concern and that the school should accommodate the students, not the the students accommodate the Governor’s school. “I’m afraid what’s going to happen is you’re going to have a certain number of parents that are not going to do it. That takes away from the education of the child. The child is smart enough and needs that education and that rigor, I the we accommodate the child and not the college.” said Edwards.
Mr. Nichols shared the results of the surveys sent to parents in regards to whether they would rather their child/children will attend school for face to face or virtual education. The percentage of parents choosing full-time virtual learning at each school are as follows:
Chase City Elementary: 31%
Clarksville Elementary: 33%
LaCrosse Elementary: 23%
South Hill Elementary: 21%
Bluestone Middle School: 35%
Park View Middle School: 26%
Bluestone High School: 50%
Park View High School: 28%
All eight schools have been approved for free lunch meals for the next school year. While adult meals costs have increased, no student will be paying for lunch. Vice Chairman Dora Garner asked how lunch will be provided to those students choosing to learn virtually. Mr. Nichols explained that meal pick ups will be in place much like they were of the summer of this year.
The Board voted yes to an increase in school fees related to CTE Supplies and transcript request fees for graduated students seeking their personal school records.
An Instructional Plan was submitted to the Board for their information regarding the responsibilities that school administration has in working with teachers and putting together all of the new curriculum materials for the upcoming year. The plan also includes materials that students will have to look at from the last part of the 2019/2020 school year. “Mrs. Hite and her instructional team have done an outstanding job. We’ve had teachers and other staff persons that have been working on this through June and July.” said Nichols.
The 2020-2021 Elementary Handbook has not changed much other than the addition of a some specifics pertaining to the COVID crisis and a virtual learning honor code to ensure that the work is in fact done by the student.